Curious about when babies are ready for solid food and what kind of foods you should give them? Join us to find out!
The simple fact is that newborns eat milk. As you know, most experts recommend breast milk as the best source of all nutrients necessary for a child’s development. Nonetheless, if you can’t or for some reason prefer not to breastfeed, there are plenty of fantastic milk formulas that cover all of your little one’s needs. During this period, you might have lots of questions, such as which fenugreek substitute to use if you are breastfeeding, etc. But, generally in a couple of days both you and the baby get used to the feeding process, and it becomes smooth.
Or at least until you come across another challenge – when to start baby food. Yes, there are plenty of recommendations online and offline. Your little one’s doctor probably gave you advice as well. But it is quite likely that you still feel crazed out. We remember being unsure not only about when to start but also what to include in the baby food diet. Some people tell you to introduce all sorts of food to your baby, while others come with a kilometer-long list of things to avoid unless you want your little one to have a severe allergic reaction. Which obviously, you don’t! With all this, often contradictory information, naturally, you became terrified and lost. At the same time, you are seeing your little one growing, and you begin to think about a new phase of life where there is a plethora of new tastes and textures awaiting them. Although introducing solids is just the first step into this new world, it is an exciting milestone for the baby. That is why we decided to create this text and help you find answers to this myriad of questions you might have.
When Should a Baby Start Eating Solid Baby Food
The pediatricians from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend parents to wait until the baby turns full six months. However, most babies become ready to eat the best baby food products between four and six months. By this time, they usually stop pushing the food out of their mouth and begin developing movements that lead to swallowing. Of course, each baby is different, and you might be eager to start exploring baby food recipes, but keep in mind that there are good reasons why it is not smart to start too soon.
How to Know If the Baby is Ready For Solid Food?
As we mentioned, there is no rush to start with solids even if after your little one reaches the required age. In some situations, starting with solids when babies are four months old can be useful. A study showed that introducing peanuts to babies who had risk factors for egg allergies and eczema, prevented the development of peanut allergies. In other cases, it is best to not just rely on age but also wait for clear signs that the baby is ready.
● Baby can hold her head up when seated.
● The tongue-thrust reflex disappeared.
● Baby shows interest in the food you eat.
● She or he can make back and forth and up and down movements with his tongue.
● The little one can open their mouth wide enough to take food from the spoon.
Introducing Baby to Solids
Keep in mind that experts recommend that you keep on giving breast milk or infant milk formula even after six months regardless of whether you are introducing store-bought or homemade baby food. The main reason is that the solids are more about getting the little one used to chewing and swallowing than providing any nutrients. Give the breast or the bottle first thing in the morning, before and after meals, and before bedtime. Then as time goes and she or he gets used to the concept of eating (which is usually, between six and nine months), start creating a mealtime routine.
Best First Foods for a Baby
Regardless of what is on the menu or whether it is organic baby food or not, your precious one’s meals for the first couple of months will be in the form of puree. When thinking about how to make baby food, the crucial thing you need to know is that it should be so smooth that it practically drips off the spoon. When you are making it at home, the best is to thin it additionally with liquid after mashing it. As the baby grows, you will gradually reduce the amount of liquid. Below you can see some tips for good foods to start giving to the little one.
● Baby cereal is always a good choice. We recommend you start with whole grain iron-enriched
options such as brown rice or barley. Mix a bit of it with breast milk or formula until you get a
creamy soup. Avoid adding fruits because babies should get introduced for one taste at a time.
Plus, experts recommend that they develop a taste for plain before you try sweetening the
● Veggies. Some babies aren’t happy about vegetables right from the start. That is why it is best to
try with those that have a kind of neutral taste like carrots or sweet potatoes. After some time,
you can begin to introduce green and other veggies that have a stronger taste. Bear in mind that
you will likely run into rejection. If that happens you will have to offer the same thing the next
day, and then the next until they finally accept.
●The fruit is another story. Since it is naturally sweet, babies will most likely enjoy it from the
beginning. The best fruits to start are bananas, apples, peaches, and pears. If you want to try
something different but still perfectly baby-friendly, we recommend pureed ripe avocado.
Now, bear in mind that all those early solids become boring after some time. As your baby gets older
you will be able to introduce other things such as minced meat, mashed eggs, cheese, pasta, yogurt,
All this may seem challenging at first. Nonetheless, trust us when we say that once you get a hang of it you will see that giving baby food is much simpler than satisfying older kids. Besides making sure that the food is prepared adequately for a specific age, you also have to watch for allergic reactions. To pinpoint allergies the best is to introduce one food at a time. Apart from that, make sure that there are few days between new foods. Watch out for reactions like gassiness, diarrhea, wheezing, etc., and alert pediatrician if they appear. Are you a new parent? Did you already start giving solids to your little one?
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
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